UF hematology/oncology fellow selected for prestigious program

The American Society of Hematology has selected University of Florida College of Medicine hematology/oncology fellow Anita Rajasekhar, M.D., to participate in its 2008 Clinical Research Training Institute.

Rajasekhar was one of 20 hematology and hematology/oncology fellows and junior faculty from across the United States and Canada chosen to participate in the yearlong education and mentoring program, which provides aspiring hematologists with the tools to begin careers in clinical research. ASH selects candidates who are within three years of completing their fellowship training at academic medical centers.

"It is an absolute honor to have the unique opportunity to work with other fellows and esteemed leaders in the field of hematology around the United States and Canada," said Rajasekhar, who is in the second year of her fellowship. "The idea of getting personal advice and input to strengthen the foundation and methodology of my proposal is very attractive."

The program, which is in its sixth year, begins with a weeklong summer workshop that focuses on the fundamentals of research. Participants also have the opportunity to work on their own proposed clinical research projects with interaction from expert faculty. Two subsequent sessions, one at the ASH annual meeting in December and one in the spring, provide further mentoring opportunities for participants.

"As the need for clinical researchers in hematology continues to grow, it's extremely important to provide fellows and junior faculty with opportunities to develop their research skills," said Kenneth Kaushansky, M.D., ASH president and professor and chairman of the department of medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. "Several past participants have described their experience with this program as one of the greatest career development opportunities they have had."